I’ve received an email from my office mate and she invites us to climb a mountain in Bokod, Benguet. The invitational photo was posted to my group page and they’re interested to join. So, Jeff will be the one who will communicate the contact person of the event.
Mt. Purgatory Mangisi traverse -sounds scary, right? I have no idea what this mountain can offer. But, the name itself is fascinating and it seems like you will be travelling to a place where you didn’t know if it will end up either to heaven or to hell. As for me, I didn’t feel anything, but excitement to climb those mountains. I miss hiking, indeed!
Leaving Manila on a Friday night and arrived Baguio City at dawn on the following day. Then, we went to Department of Tourism Baguio City for registration and briefing before heading to jump off point in Japas. All participants are getting ready and at exactly five o’clock in the morning the chartered jeepney are bound to Bokod, Benguet. After an hour, we had our breakfast at Adonot, Ambuklao. Then, we decide to go on top of the car to see the view while hitting on the road going to Mangagew. The view is perfect!
Three hours after, we’re now at the jump off. But, before we start, the organizer of the event were given an orientation about the traverse; what the mountains can offer, what to expect on the trail, how long the trek will be, do’s and don’ts. These events are organized and administered by the Association of Bokod Adventure Ecoguides or ABADEG. The illustration below is the map of the entire traverse.
The trail is officially started at ten o’clock. The first part of the trail is open and wide, but it is mostly ascending. Pine trees are visible on the trail and the roads are established enough and have enabled to jeep to pass through. After maybe about five kilometres, the trail will change into a mossy forest, and become a bit steep.
We have a quick lunch on the trail and then, more than two kilometres we reached the peak of Mt. Pack, it is about 2290 meter above sea level. The trail goes on through the mossy forest even though, it was really exhausting and time seems endless, but the scenery is captivating to keep going. Two to three hours after, we arrived at Mt. Purgatory that is 2080m.
From Purgatory, another three hours trekking to Tangbao Campsite where we can build our tent and finally, passing through Bakian Elementary School. The group arrived at the campsite at exactly six o’clock in the evening. We immediately fix our tent and get some rest. Then, dinner and socials! Locals dances the “katutubong sayaw” while all participants having dinner.
We woke up early in the morning on the second day of Mt. Purgatory Traverse and having coffee with the group and enjoying the cold weather, though the sun is already up. We’re heading to Mt. Komkompol, is about 2329m, after all things are packed up. It is the final peak in the range. It was really cold! From the topmost, this time, the trail is mostly pine trees and the path is also well-established throughout the entire traverse.
We had our lunch at Ekip Barangay Hall and the foods are ginisang repolyo, and fried native chicken. The first batch will start descending and my group will follow after an hour. We will walk about four to five kilometres through a rough road to the jeepney pick up point which will take us back to Bokod proper.
As part of the events, certificates are given to all mountaineers who joined the events and the locals have dance presentation featuring the three-ethno linguistic groups of Bokod (Ibaloi, Karao, and Kalanguya).
In all, though I admit that it was very tiring due to the long hike, but I have enjoyed the view and the scenery from the start until the end. In fact, we had so much fun!
09:00PM – Assembly time Victory Liner Cubao
10:00PM – Bus Depart bound to Baguio City
04:00AM – Arrived at Victory Liner Baguio
04:30AM – Registration at DOT Baguio City
05:00AM – Jeep departure bound
06:00AM – Breakfast
06:30AM – Bound to jump off point
09:30AM – Arrived at jump off point then, preparation and briefing
10:00AM – Start trekking
12:00PM – Lunch
01:00PM –Mt. Pack summit
03:00PM – Mt. Purgatory summit
06:00PM – Arrived at camp site, dinner, and then, watch katutubong sayaw with the locals
08:00PM – Rest
06:00AM – Breakfast, picture taking
08:30AM – Start trekking
09:30AM – Mt. Kom-kompol View Point, snacks
12:30PM – Lunch at Ekip
02:30PM – Jump off, clean up
04:30PM – Arrival at Bokod Municipal Hall for closing program
06:00PM – Back to Baguio
08:00PM – Manila bound